On Christmas day I woke to the news that my beloved great-aunt Rita had passed away the night before. My heart ached for my cousins who would never know the unadulterated joy of the holiday without the acute reminder of loss again. This is the paradox of life, we are made to hold impossible things. As I shared the sad news with others I learned of car accidents on the way to holiday destinations (and at holiday destinations), episodes of flu and all manner of pestilence interfering with plans for joy and merry making. Seems to me a full Cancer moon on a big family holiday in the dead of winter is a recipe for disappointment. I adjusted expectations months ahead of time and tried not to sound too droll when I would remark that I just didn’t think it was going to be that merry of a Christmas this year. Armed with this knowledge I decided to be happy with less.
Our oldest and his love had hoped to be able to come home for Christmas, but their plans were put on hold for a myriad of (financial) reasons. Life is what we make it so I decided that my holiday ‘get to do’ list was going to be simple. My priorities were to make merry and share that with friends. We hosted a small and delightful gathering on solstice and again on New Year's eve. In the ten days between we worked some, relaxed some, enjoyed our snowy weather and chatted with as many friends as we could. In November I cleared out 40 years worth of Christmas greetings sent to this house. Mother was tidy as hell, but no doubt about it now, she was a Christmas card hoarder. After this experience I will likely never send another Christmas card in my life! Video chats are now and will remain my preferred form of holiday communication.
Now we’ve arrived in the bleak mid-winter of January and I do not feel compelled to join a gym or become vegan. I feel compelled to be still and eat what nourishes me. I am a witch, I make resolutions each and every dark of the moon. Grand displays of commitment in January usually fizzle out by February and I think it is dangerous to squander one’s hope in such bombastic fashion. Even so, I’m not immune to the intoxicating effects of dreaming of more, faster, better. I got quite carried away with it last year, as a matter of fact. So much so that I was utterly demoralized to review what I had hoped to achieve and compare it to what actually happened in 2015. That is until I tried on a new perspective and realized that last year was maybe my most profoundly rewarding year yet.
On the surface not much has changed, but like an iceberg most of the substance is not visible. The landscape of my heart has been completely excavated and renovated. I moved mountains in my mind and what may look like losses to the untrained eye were actually acts of unparalleled bravery. Once my understanding shifted I saw what I had accomplished after all: I cleared the way for all the plans I made a year ago to actually come to fruition now. With fresh eyes and renewed dedication I can now set about the business of making all those dreams come true. My inner Pollyanna has been resuscitated and that’s a giant relief. I need her to convince my shadow we’ve got this. We’ve SO got this!
Janus hear my plea and grant your favor upon me. One year ends and another begins. Help me to carry on with joy and hope. Fueled by desire, intrepidly I march into the dawn of another year.